Victim of Excel shooting awarded $2M in opioid overdose lawsuit
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -The family of an Excel shooting victim wins a trial focused on opioid epidemic with a $2,575,000 plaintiff’s verdict against Wichita psychiatrist Elsie Steelberg, M.D. and her practice Advocates for Behavioral Health, P.A.
The victim, Nicholas Moon, was hurt in the mass shooting at Excel Industries in Hesston in February of 2016. Following the shooting, he began seeing Dr. Elsie Steelberg for his post-traumatic stress disorder.
The family’s attorney, Chris Schnieders, a partner with Napoli Shkolnik, says Dr. Steelberg wrote a lethal cocktail of opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions that ultimately turned out to be deadly for Moon. Moon died at age 30 leaving behind a wife and 9-year-old son.
“The jury was able to see through the stigma of the psychiatric injuries suffered by Nick Moon and focus on the relentless escalation of the aggressive regimen of opioids and benzodiazepines that Dr. Steelberg wrote for Nick,” said Schnieders. “We are hopeful that this result serves as a warning that patients need to be optimized on non-opioid and controlled substances before ever thinking of trying these dangerous and addictive drugs.”
This verdict is believed to be the biggest for an opioid overdose in Sedgwick County history. “Doctors should be forewarned that these lethal cocktail combinations of opioids and benzodiazepines should never be prescribed,” said Schnieders.
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